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Salons: Back in Business

Hair and nail salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors were allowed to open again June 15. 517 Magazine spoke to a few local salon owners and stylists to find out how they were feeling.

While the closing of hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors and barbershops was understandable due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as the months passed, nerves began to fray. Salon owners faced uncertainty and questioned why they couldn’t open their doors when other service providers could.

Salons throughout the 517 finally were able to reopen June 15 with guidelines in place.

Among the guidelines, personal service shops are required keep records of customers and their contact information. They also have to limit who can be inside the shop and require customers and employees to wear face coverings at all times.

Guests may also notice paperless transactions, no products on shelves and no self-serve refreshments. These steps all reduce touching and further risk to customers and stylists.

Steven L. Marvin, owner of Steven L Marvin Salon and Wellness Spa in Holt, will be taking guests’ temperatures and will ask them to sanitize their hands, according to the Facebook page for the business.

“It feels fantastic to be back open,” Marvin said. “We are asking all of our guests to please be patient with us.”

Clients have been very accommodating to the new protocols, according to Matthew Ryan Clouse, owner of Matthew Ryan Salon and Spa in Old Town Lansing. Commenting on the first day open since March, Clouse said, “It very much feels like the first day of school. We all had butterflies going in today. We are all so happy to be back.”

In downtown Lansing, Rizza Benton, who rents a chair at Rubie’s Paradise Salon, began reaching out to clients as soon as she knew she could get back to work June 15.

“It’s fantastic to be behind the chair again,” said Benton. “We’re following the state-mandated sanitation and social distancing guidelines, masking up, staggering appointments, reducing the number of stylists working, and not allowing extra guests for appointments.

“The hardest part is that we can’t hug everyone we’ve missed so much, but it’s still good to be back,” she added.

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